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The AEC Dorchester 4x4 was one of the most common ACV (Armoured Command Vehicle) that the British Associated Equipment Company produced during the World War II, based on the AEC 0853 Matador 4x4 chassis. It was a simple armoured bus with a lot of space inside which made it very popular within the army, so popular that even Edwin Rommel himself used a couple of these trucks captured during the African campaign and named Max and Moritz.
The most common ACV in the British army was the 4x4 ACV, it entered in production in 1941 to debut in the North African campaign, a total of 415 units were produced until the end of the war. Due to it’s size and comfort it was nicknamed Dorchester due to the luxury hotel in London.
The Dorchester was produced in two different versions depending on the radio equipment carried, the LP ( low power ) and the HP ( high power ) It weighted 12,2 tons and had a crew of 7.
Two Dorchesters all of a sudden
It is really amazing how things turn sometimes, I always wished I could make this vehicle, it had caught my attention for many years but there were no plastic models of it, only an expensive resin. Of course there was the option of making it in scratch but with so many models left to build in my closet I had became a little lazy about scratchbuilding.
And then, one day, two different companies, SKP and AFV, announced their intention to make a plastic model of this peculiar vehicle, I could not ask for more!
As you know the guys of SKP were the first to release theirs and they did it in two different versions, a “normal” one with allied decorations and then this one I made, the Rommel´s captured ones.
The painting section of this article will be also valid for the AFV club one.
Inside the box
Sometimes opening a model box can be quite surprising. When I received the SKP Dorchester kit I expected to see the typical plastic frames with a lot of parts and little else, it was not the case at all. The kit is formed by some summary plastic parts, a photoetched fret, another fret with clear resin dots over photoetched metal for the lenses, many resin parts and a new set of decals. The shape of the vehicle is so simple that it is intended to build the body with the few plastic parts in minutes and then add all the crispy resin and photoetched details.
The instructions are not quite clear as they are a mix of the former English version of the AEC and some alternative steps for this particular version, so if you decide to buy this kit be sure to study the process carefully before starting.
Another thing to have in mind is the decoration you are going to choose, there are two provided in the decals set as well as in the box cover, one of them is the vehicle named Max, recognizable by its snakes pattern camouflage at the front, and the other named Moritz, with a continuation of the Caunter camouflage. This last vehicle is the one I liked and gave me some problems when I started to look for pictures of the real vehicle as the pattern of the stripes at the front was different in some of the pictures, it seemed to be repainted at some moment…..As I could not find out why the difference I decided to paint it like in most of the photos that is the scheme suggested in the instructions.
I started by building the body with the few plastic parts provided, it took only a few minutes although I had to sand and fill some gaps.
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